How Ren Faires Changed the Counterculture

Well Met: Renaissance Faires and the American CounterculturePersons interested in understanding festivals and other “temporary autonomous zones” might find insights in a new book from New York University Press, Well Met: Renaissance Faires and the American Counterculture by Rachel Lee Rubin.

From the publisher’s description:

In order to understand the meaning of the faire to its devoted participants,both workers and visitors, Rubin has compiled a dazzling array of testimony, from extensive conversations with Faire founder Phyllis Patterson to interviews regarding the contemporary scene with performers, crafters, booth workers and “playtrons.” Well Met pays equal attention what came out of the faire—the transforming gifts bestowed by the faire’s innovations and experiments upon the broader American culture: the underground press of the 1960s and 1970s, experimentation with “ethnic” musical instruments and styles in popular music, the craft revival, and various forms of immersive theater are all connected back to their roots in the faire. Original, intrepid, and richly illustrated, Well Met puts the Renaissance Faire back at the historical center of the American counterculture.

4 thoughts on “How Ren Faires Changed the Counterculture

  1. Pitch313

    O Gloriana!

    All I gotta say is that it is odd to have books written about popular culture life experiences that are still ongoing. The Northern California Ren Faires played a fruitful part in my growth as a Pagan practitioner–my first professional consultations with a diviner/rune reader took place at Ren Faires and the Goddess blessed me at a Ren Faire and I fell for Ren Faire babes topsy turvy. Ren Faires were more than fair to me!

  2. Ooh, this sounds quite cool. I have been a vendor and a visitor to many a Ren Faire.

    Some of those people can get quite caught up in that lifestyle. I wouldn’t have thought to write a book on it, but it makes perfect sense now that you think about it.

Comments are closed.